Red Youth Statement of Aims

We reproduce below the mission statement of our new youth organisation.

We want freedom!

This means we stand for the control of working people over their own destiny. We understand that to control our own destiny, we need control over wealth in society; how it is produced and how it is distributed.

Since the real social wealth of our society is monopolised by a tiny clique of rich businessmen (capitalist imperialists), who control the major political parties, government policy, state institutions and media, we must work to get rid of the old undemocratic institutions, and form a new system that truly serves the people.

We declare our right to do so in the name of the desperately urgent needs and interests of the vast majority of working people in Britain, and the toiling masses of the world – by any means necessary!

Socialism will provide all with the opportunity to work, to contribute meaningfully to the wellbeing of society, and will give us all a just share in the fruits of our cooperative labour, which is the source of all society’s wealth. Until then, we demand of the capitalist class the right to work, the right to a living wage, and the right to a decent life for all workers. If the capitalists cannot fulfil these basic demands, they prove themselves bankrupt; unfit to administer society, and ripe to be overthrown!

We demand universal, free, high quality education and recreational facilities for all

This includes grants to cover living and studying expenses, from crèche and kindergarten through nursery, to school, undergraduate and higher degree level.

We further demand that that syllabuses and teaching methods reflect the needs and interests of working-class people, including the teaching of working-class history and politics. All private, religious and ethnically divided schools must be abolished.

The role of education is to fit us for our future role in society, and we demand an end to third-rate education aimed to fit us for wage slavery or the scrap heap of unemployment. We need an education that will fit working-class youth to become the ruling class. If our schools will not provide this, then we will build a movement that can.

We celebrate and support the achievements of socialism

Under the guidance offered by the teachings of Marx, Lenin and their disciples, socialism liberated fully one third of the world’s territory.

We believe that these teachings, and the experiences of a quarter of humanity who have known the benefit of living in socialist societies free from capitalist exploitation and oppression, hold the key to achieving a secure, meaningful, cultured and productive life for all.

We support socialist countries, both those that are newly emerging and those that were able to weather the counter-revolutionary tide of 1989.

We resolve to educate ourselves and our fellow workers

No movement in human history, despite all temporary reverses, has known such rapid gains and successes as those of the communist (third) international, and brought to so much of humanity such a peaceful, secure, cultured and enlightened existence.

The lies and slanders that surround our most glorious achievements are a deliberate attempt on the part of the capitalist ruling class to demoralise workers and keep them ignorant and enslaved. The ruling classes and their governments are terrified of workers acquiring this knowledge, for they fear it will lead to mass revolutionary action, the only weapon capable of bringing an end to their tiny clique’s tyrannical orgy of destruction and self-enrichment.

Show everybody, then, that no power will succeed in depriving the workers of class consciousness! Without knowledge the workers are defenceless, with knowledge they are a force!” (‘What are our ministers thinking about?’ by V I Lenin, Rabocheye Dyelo, 1895)

We oppose the colonisation and degradation of youth culture

Owing to the inability of capitalism to provide a culture that truly represents our experience and aspirations, the working classes have, over the years, developed their own cultural forms to represent them (key examples being hip hop, reggae, jazz, jungle, graffiti and northern soul). However, corporations see these cultural forms as a potential source of profit, and the state sees the possibility of using them to promote reactionary propaganda, so that progressive voices tend to become sidelined and overwhelmed, unable to compete with the massive marketing machines surrounding those who are prepared to peddle a reactionary message.

Recognising that the internet creates tremendous possibilities to spread our music and art, we call on young musicians and artists to stay independent and to retain creative control over their output. We must not hand our generation’s voice over to corporate control.

We oppose the victimisation of young people

Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs), introduced in 1998, are an essentially arbitrary punishment meted out overwhelmingly to young people. Their principal aim is to put the blame for the state of our communities onto young people.

We are asked to believe that the increasing crime rate, boarded up shops, crack houses, noise pollution and muggings in working-class areas are all the fault of young people with caps and hoodies, rather than being the result of unemployment, lack of investment, and so on.

Similarly, stop-and-search powers are used disproportionately against the youth, especially black youth, who are several times more likely to be stopped and searched than whites.

We demand, and will fight for, an immediate end to all legislation and police powers that target working-class youth.

We oppose all attempts to make the working class pay for the capitalist crisis of overproduction

This includes all attempts to destroy the remnants of the social wage (social services like the NHS, council housing, free state education, pensions and care for the elderly, library facilities, etc) through cuts on the one hand, and accelerating privatisation on the other.

Only a socialist society can guarantee social justice and prevent gains such as these from being stolen back from future generations. As long as capitalism exists, such gains as the workers achieve will only ever be temporary, taken back whenever the needs of the bankers (finance capitalists) require it, and workers are too disorganised to stop them.

We oppose all racism and immigration controls

We are anti-racist, not only because racism is morally and scientifically unjustifiable, but because it is a weapon used by the capitalists to divide and weaken the working class in its struggle for emancipation (freedom).

Population migration has been a feature of human civilisation as long as we have existed as a species. ‘Immigrants’ are not the enemy of British working people; British capitalism is! We therefore demand full citizenship rights for all people who live and/or work in Britain. Making people ‘illegal’ strips them of all ability to resist the most extreme exploitation and abuse, and simultaneously turns them into weapons of the capitalists to depress the wages of all.

We are opposed to colonial wars

We pay particular attention to aggressive wars for domination fought by ‘our own’ British government (Iraq, Afghanistan, etc) but we are equally opposed to those waged by other imperialist countries abroad. They are not fought in our name.

The British capitalist government is the worst enemy of the British people, as it is the enemy of workers and oppressed people of all countries. We note also, and vigorously oppose, the rise of islamophobia and anti-Arab racism promoted by government, state and media to justify their current wars for control of the Middle East, and pledge to fight it.

We call on our fellow workers in the British capitalists’ armed forces to repent: object, desert or mutiny! Refuse to lend a hand in colonising, enslaving and torturing your fellow workers from other nations! If you must fight, fight your enemy: the capitalist ruling class and their (Labour, Tory, or whichever) government that sent you, in the name of ‘patriotism’ and ‘freedom’, to commit these foul deeds!

Working-class youth join the army because school and wider society has failed them. They are promised a better life; a final chance to ‘be all they can be’, but they instead find themselves used as cannon fodder in conflicts they often don’t understand or support. This is underpinned by a chauvinist and often outright racist culture that is encouraged by the capitalist class – but it is a road that leads workers nowhere!

British workers must wake up and discard the thin gruel of narrow nationalism that enslaves us! Like Joe Glenton, our soldiers must understand that, at the end of the day, they are workers in uniform. When British workers are paid to fight by our own ruling-class enemies, we are thrown against our fellow workers (from other countries). British workers risk their lives to make their exploiters superprofits and themselves even more dependent on their own capitalist exploiters. Working-class soldiers in imperialist armies are turned not into patriots, but mercenaries, fighting against their own interests. This is the meaning of Marx’s famous dictum “A nation that enslaves another forges its own chains!” (‘Confidential communication on Bakunin’, 1870)

We call for workers to raise the slogan “No cooperation with war crimes!” Workers have the power to stop these unjust wars in their tracks simply by refusing to help them continue! Refuse to fight unjust wars! Refuse to transport munitions to the front! Refuse to print and distribute propaganda! Refuse to present or broadcast it!

We support national-liberation struggles and resistance movements worldwide

Any struggle that weakens imperialism is bringing the day of our own freedom a little closer.

These struggles are major battlefronts against working and oppressed people’s common enemy, the capitalist imperialist class, which continues, through the misery it heaps upon the majority of humanity, to produce, above all other things, its own gravediggers!

We support the right of all nations to true self-determination, without the interference of aggressive, terroristic, imperialist, military and economic powers (US, Britain, EU, Israel, IMF, WB, etc). We therefore support the legitimate national-liberation struggles of oppressed nations, and call for the defeat of the unjust campaigns of EU and Anglo-American imperialist armies and their proxies.

We stand for British withdrawal from Ireland and for the reunification of all 32 counties into a single Irish state

Enlisting the complicity of sections of British workers in the subjugation of our Irish brothers has been the key to British rulers holding the British workers in subjection also. Ireland is Britain’s oldest colony, and until we are rid of this legacy, we will never advance towards a peaceful and prosperous socialist future.

We oppose supremacist Israel and call for a single, secular Palestinian state on the whole of historic Palestine

We are anti-zionist because we see clearly that Israel is a racist, colonial and apartheid state. Zionism is a weapon to turn many formerly progressive jewish people into tools of imperial policy, particularly aimed at robbing the masses of the Middle East of their oil wealth. That is why the imperialists back Israel to the hilt and ignore all the zionists’ crimes in their service.

We believe that the only permanent solution to the problems of the Middle East lies in the creation of a secular state in which jewish immigrants and native Palestinians are free and equal, and which guarantees the right of all displaced Palestinians to return to their stolen lands. Palestine is a British working-class issue.

Workers of all countries, unite! We have nothing to lose but our chains; we have a world to win!

Man’s dearest possession is life, and since it is given to him to live but once, he must so live as to feel no torturing regrets for years without purpose; so live as not to be seared with the shame of a cowardly and trivial past; so live, that dying he can say: ‘All my life and all my strength were given to the finest cause in all the world – the liberation of mankind.’

(Nikolai Ostrovsky, How The Steel Was Tempered, 1936)

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